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About the Cambio de Colores conference
Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) is an annual meeting that, since 2002, brings together researchers, practitioners, decision-makers, and community members, to discuss the issues that Missouri, the Heartland, and other states face as a result of the demographic changes made evident by the 2000 Census. That Census clearly showed that large numbers of immigrants—most of them Latino or Hispanic, but including significant numbers of migrants and refugees from Asia, Africa, and Europe—were settling in rural and urban areas of every state in the region. These dramatic changes are also happening in new destination states in the South, the Pacific Northwest, and New England.
Led by the University of Missouri, Cambio de Colores is a collaborative effort that includes University of Missouri Extension, other educational institutions in the Midwest and the Southern regions, as well as government and private organizations.
The last three conferences benefited from the cooperation of the University of Missouri's Cambio Center for Research & Outreach on Latinos and Changing Communities, and the interstate initiative on “Latinos and Immigrants in Midwestern Communities,” North Central Education and Research Activity 216 (NCERA 216). In 2011 and 2012, the cooperation has been extended to include the Southern Extension and Research Activity 37 (SERA 37) “The New Hispanic South,” an initiative that brings together a large number of universities and institutions addressing similar changes in that region.
The 2012 meeting will be a multi-state conference showcasing research and best practices mainly but not exclusively from Midwestern and Southern states in the U.S.
While native and foreign-born Latinos may constitute the majority of new arrivals in most communities in these regions of the country, the conference organizers stress that immigrants from other areas of the world are also settling in these regions, mostly to work on jobs made available through the significant aging of the population and the consequent decline in the numbers of the younger demographic segments. The integration of these very diverse groups is being studied by academics and pursued by stakeholders, as the newcomers seek to become part and parcel of the social, economic, and cultural fabric of the South and the Heartland.
The conference program builds on the sharing of university, government, and community resources, ranging from academic studies to the more applied perspective of people and institutions working at the heart of the changing communities. This particular and much needed synergy is the signature characteristic of this annual conference.
The 2012 conference will provide state-of-the-art research and best practices that will inform participants, decision-makers and policy-makers, of the multiple ways in which Midwestern and Southern stakeholders are addressing the most significant and transformational demographic and cultural change in decades. The conference provides a unique platform to present, discuss, share, learn, and identify critical areas where the development of information and promising practices will facilitate the successful transition of all newcomers into our communities, while providing these communities with the tools necessary to address these changes in sustainable and beneficial ways to all. It will also be a timely event to see the effects that current national and statewide discussions about immigrants and immigration are having in this transition.
The Hispanic and Latin American Faculty & Staff Association of the University of Missouri-Columbia (HLAFSA) took a principal role in creating and leading the first conferences, with the enthusiastic support of the University of Missouri System institutions, and the collaboration of many organizations in our state.
A groundbreaking, three-day event took place in March 2002 at the University of Missouri-Columbia: “Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors). Latinos in Missouri: A call to action!”
Subsequent conferences were held in 2003 in Kansas City (“Neighbors in Urban and Rural Communities”), St. Louis in 2004 (“Gateway to a New Community”), Columbia in 2005 (“Connecting Research to Policy and Practice - Hoy y mañana.”) and again in 2006 (“Beyond Borders”). In April 2007, the conference went back to Kansas City (“Everyone Together – Todos Juntos.”) In 2008, Columbia hosted the 7th conference (“Uniting Cultures – Uniendo Culturas.”) In 2009, the 8th Conference “Latinos in the Heartland” was held in St. Louis. It was the first conference organized with a Midwest focus, and included presentations from many states of the region. In May 2010, the ninth conference was hosted once again in Columbia (“Latinos and Immigrants in Midwestern Communities”), and in 2011 the tenth conference was held in Kansas City (“Migration and Shifting Human Landscapes”).
The diverse and enthusiastic participation in these very inclusive events is demonstrating the relevance and the urgency of addressing today the challenges and the opportunities that arise in Missouri and other Midwestern states, as Latinos and other newcomers settle as workers, families and members of communities.
The eleventh conference will take place at the Stoney Creek Inn in Columbia, Missouri on June 13-15, 2012. The conference is organized along themes that include change and integration, civil rights and political participation, education, health, entrepreneurship and economic development.
The main institutional support for the conference comes from the Cambio Center for Research and Outreach on Latinos and Changing Communities in Missouri, established by the University of Missouri-Columbia in the fall of 2004.
This page updated:
7 May, 2012